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Chambly, Canada

Chambly, Canada

CHAMBLY, CANADA. 18 October 1775. During the siege of St. Johns, Major Joseph Stopford with eighty-eight officers and men of the Seventh Foot held Chambly, ten miles farther north. Although the place was of great strategic importance, Guy Carleton, governor of Quebec and commander of British forces in Canada, lacked the manpower to give it a larger garrison and felt that St. Johns would screen it. A large combat patrol led by Major John Brown had ambushed a supply train two miles from the fort on 17 September and then (after being reinforced) had driven an attempted sortie back into Chambly. There matters rested, with neither side able to amass enough strength to attempt anything. But on the night of 17 October, at the suggestion of pro-rebel Canadians, two American bateaux slipped past the defenses of St. Johns. They brought nine-pound guns, which altered the balance of power. Brown with fifty Americans and three hundred Canadians led by James Livingston surrounded the impressive-looking but thin-walled stone fort. The guns fired a few rounds that knocked holes, and Stopford promptly surrendered. In addition to the prisoners, the Americans captured 6 tons of gunpowder, 6,500 musket cartridges, 3 mortars, and 125 stand of arms, along with a large stock of food. Neither side had anyone killed or seriously injured. The fall of this garrison helped to seal St. Johns's fate, and the Seventh Foot's captured colors appear in the background of John Trumbull's painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

SEE ALSO Canada Invasion; St. Johns, Canada (5 September-2 November 1775).

                              revised by Robert K. Wright Jr.

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